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Can you be friends with your boss on a yacht?

I’ve been asked a number of times if a supervisor can really be friends with their co-workers while at the same time being the boss. Some say it’s not a good idea in general or that supervisors should keep work and personal life completely separate. These are valid points since, first and foremost, a major…

Leadership takes courage; courage takes practice like any other skill

People have been searching for the perfect mixture of leadership characteristics for thousands of years. Unfortunately, for every list of characteristics that gets created, another list can hold contradictory information. The inconsistent nature of what others consider leadership qualities makes it hard to know where to start to become a better leader. Fortunately, one characteristic…

Accidents cost and pay in captains’ careers

When a yacht has an accident, the yachting world seems to know about it. Call it the coconut telegraph or blame social media if you like, but it’s fellow yachties spreading the word, some seemingly eager to criticize whenever a colleague has an accident. What is that all about? Within minutes of a yacht bumping…

Promotions don’t automatically endow leadership skills

As leaders move up through the ranks, their role becomes less about their specific technical skills and more about how well they’re able to grow their people and get them to work together as a team to produce results. It’s kind of a paradox, really. A deckhand gets promoted because of the skills he’s acquired,…

Humility is not weakness

At one of the boat show parties last month I ran into Dave, a deckhand I worked with a few years ago. It was good to see him, but I was reminded of the times when I was a terrible leader for him. When we worked together, I walked around the boat as if I…

Slight shift in words can make all the difference in communicating

Are you being aggressive when you think you’re being assertive? Assertiveness is often confused with aggressiveness. Can you tell the difference? Telling someone how a system operates on your boat is different than having a conversation with someone. For example, when a new deckhand joins your boat, explaining how the system works for ordering new…

Importance of teamwork onboard

To better understand team dynamics onboard a luxury yacht — and how to build a better team — let’s look at how most teams on boats are put together. The larger the crew, the more likely the team is broken down into departments (deck, interior, engineering, etc.). Unfortunately, segregating crew members into departments creates a…

Optimize practice drills for safe yacht and crew

The recent sinking of a South Korean ferry prompted us to wonder how yacht crew prepare for emergencies. Most captains and flag states require fire-fighting, first-aid and survival skills taught in Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) courses. Drills are designed to practice this training. We talked with industry professionals to find out how…

Difference between leaders and managers

It is common to hear the terms management and leadership used interchangeably, as though they mean the same thing.   Let’s crush that myth right now: leadership and management are not the same things. Both are critical to success as a leader, so an understanding of each term is essential.   Leadership is the ability to…

Editor’s Picks

Captain builds tender for users’ comfort

Captain builds tender for users’ comfort

Story and photos by Tom Serio He’s a big guy, with a big voice, and with big miles under his keel. Now he has big goals. Capt. …

Owner’s View: Effort in captain-owner interview pays off

Owner’s View: Effort in captain-owner interview pays off

Owner’s View: by Melvyn Miller As is the case with owners of yachts, I have found it difficult to describe an average captain of a …

Ocean plastic removal program gets grant

Ocean plastic removal program gets grant

Photos by Lockhart Maclean Fort Lauderdale-based Mission Resolve Foundation has gifted Ocean Voyages Institute $25,000 as a challenge …

MarineMax acquires NJ

MarineMax acquires NJ

Clearwater, Florida-based MarineMax has acquired Fort Lauderdale-based brokerage firm Northrop & Johnson, a 71-year-old company that …

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